Showing posts with label bubbles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bubbles. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Sweet Italian Bubbles From Asti

Wine importers do not get enough credit for what they do. The best importers are those with a nose for wine, who can sniff out good stuff through endless trials, then bring the product to us. Great importers like Kermit Lynch and Terry Theise are as important and as recognizable as great producers.  

Mack and Schühle are Miami-based importers who find great wine and pass it along at a fair price. Founded in 1939, the company expanded to the Miami office a bit more than a decade ago. They produce wine in Italy and Spain and distribute other wines globally.

One fun member of their portfolio is the Acquesi Asti DOCG Sparkling Wine. The Moscato grapes for this bubbly were grown in Asti, in Italy's Piedmont region. The distributor relates the winery's description of the locale like this:

"The vineyards are located on the hilly ridge that goes from Alice Bel Colle to Santo Stefano Belbo passing through the amazing hills of Ricaldone, located at an altitude between 250 and 400 meters above sea level. A large part of the soils that give life to our Cuvée are characterized by light limestone marl while the minority part has a strong sandy component. The different microclimates affected by this selection of musts offer a complete photograph of the expressions of the native aromatic varieties."

Sounds like a beautiful place. I'm ready for a visit. Winemaker Daniele Astegiano produced this sparkler to 7% abv and it retails for $18.

This wine has bubbles galore, for a minute or so. A huge, white, frothy head pours up and hangs around a bit before dissipating. The nose is a beauty, full of ripe peaches, apples, pears and nectarines. The palate is just as sweet, maybe sweeter. It's not exactly a dessert wine, but it  certainly would do in a pinch. The pairing with dessert is a natural, as is its more reserved role with Asian food or sushi. 


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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Virginia Bubbles - Briedé Sparkling Cayuga White

The Now And Zin Wine Country series started in 2011, with Virginia wine. In the dozen years since then I have sampled wines from 46 states. The last four - Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming - have proven to be tough nuts to crack, for a variety of reasons. There are fewer opportunities in those states and shipping restrictions, to name two. I'll press on to find wines from those states, but when I get a chance to revisit a previous stop, I'll jump at the chance. Especially when it is Virginia. 

The Old Dominion State has 291 wineries, by Wine America's count. That's good enough for 6th place in the winery count. As far as wine production goes, Virginia lags a little more behind, in eighth place. 

Briedé Family Vineyards boasts a ton of awards won by their wines. They also have a menu featuring a ton of North American grapes, although they do utilize vinifera grapes mostly in blends. The price list looks a tad spendy to me, considering the grape varieties. I have tried only one of their wines, so I can't say whether the prices are justified. 

Located in Winchester, VA, Briedé occupies the 30-acre patch of land on which the family has lived for decades. They started their winery in 2013. The namesake sparkling wine is made from Shenandoah Valley Cayuga White grapes, carries alcohol at 11.6% abv and costs $57. They label the wine as Sparkling, but on their website they reference Champagnes, which it is not. It is, however, made in the same way traditional Champagnes are made. 

The 2020 Briedé Sparkling Winchester Brut has a yellow straw color with a huge helping of white foam, which dissipates quickly to a frizzante appearance. It is wild while it's there, though. The nose offers beautiful aromas of green apples and apricots under an overlay of yeasty toast. The palate has a boatload of acidity and yeasty flavors of apples, and pears. Fun and tasty, too. 


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Monday, December 4, 2023

Bubbles From Halter Ranch In Paso Robles

Halter Ranch Vineyard is located in the beautiful hills of western Paso Robles. The Santa Lucia mountain range is the backdrop to the 2700-acre estate. Only two hundred of those acres are devoted to organic grapes, 20 different varieties, as well as walnut and olive orchards. The rest is all Mother Nature, including oak woodland and wildlife corridors. Owner Hansjörg Wyss is described as a "Swiss entrepreneur, philanthropist, and world-leading land conservationist." Winemaker Kevin Sass spends a lot of time in the vineyard. He says that is where great wines begin. 

The Halter Ranch Libelle Sparkling Picpoul Blanc 2020 is made from estate grapes, grown right there in Paso Robles' Adelaida District. The wine is made like Champagne, 100% Méthode Champenoise, where the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle to create natural carbonation. Alcohol is a low 11% abv and the retail price is $85. 

This wine is straw colored, but it pours up with plenty of white, frothy bubbles. They dissipate quickly, however, leaving what looks like a frizzante white wine. Citrus and minerals dominate the nose, but a pretty, floral note peeks through as well. The longer I smell it, the more the citrus fruit comes forward. The palate is juicy and refreshing, with a bracing acidity to match the lemon, lime and grapefruit flavors. Nutty notes play into the flavor package, too. This is the first sparkling Picpoul I've had, or even heard about. I'm impressed. It is fun, but not frivolous.


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Monday, January 9, 2023

Bubbles Are Always Okay. Especially This One

Bubbly wine is never a downer. Even if you are a beginner at discerning the fine points of the drink, you know enough to know that bubbles are special. There is Champagne from France, sekt from Germany, Cava from Spain and good ol' sparkling wine from the US of A. In Italy, Prosecco provides the effervescence. 

Prosecco is too often written off as a simple, fun wine - a way to be festive without blowing a paycheck on big-name Champagne. Many big-name Proseccos unfortunately feed that fire, giving a fizz and nothing more. Le Vigne di Alice is one producer that does Prosecco right.

I bought a couple of bottles of A Fondo Valdobbiadene Prosecco a couple of years ago for a family event, solely on the strength of the name - it's my wife's family name. Here we are finally getting around to popping the cork on the final bottle. 

Valdobbiadene is a town just below the Alpine-Dolomite areas of Veneto in northern Italy. The cool climate there is perfect for growing the Glera grape, the main fruit of Prosecco. 

Fondo, in Italian, refers to the bottom, and in the case of this wine, it specifically references the lees, or spent yeast cells, in the bottom of the fermenter. Contact with the lees is important to give a fuller mouthfeel to the wine and more complexity. A fondo, as a phrase, translates as "deeply," according to Google. This could be the winemaker's way of saying that his wine is worth more than simply raising a toast or tossing back some frizzante. The A Fondo Prosecco hits only 11% abv in alcohol and costs about $20, if memory serves. 

Here we have a Prosecco that is more frizzante than bubbly. It is also cloudy in its yellow tint. The time spent on the lees added depth and complexity that is hard to find in a Prosecco. The nose is downright funky, with a yeastiness that would turn bread green with envy. There are huge mineral notes as well and the green apple smell is almost completely overwhelmed. This wine is not sweet, as is the custom with Prosecco. It is bone dry, in fact, with no residual sugar. The palate has a gripping acidity and a savory salinity that combine to form a Prosecco that is more like a pensive study than a party favor. 



Monday, December 19, 2022

Sonoma Zinfandel Specialists Make Four-Grape Bubbly

The small, family-run Zinfandel specialists Bella Winery make a sparkling wine, too. The Ru Blanc de Noirs utilizes a fairly standard grape recipe, with a twist. In addition to the main component of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier - 73% and 17% respectively - and a splash of Chardonnay, there is a 6% helping of Pinot Gris grapes. I don't believe I have ever had a sparkling wine with Pinot Gris grapes in it, but there is a first time for everything. All the fruit was grown in Sonoma County.

Ru Blanc de Noirs is a Traditional Method sparkler, a non-vintage bubbly from one of California's top wine regions. Alcohol sails in at 12.1% abv and the price is $48, but it is listed as being sold out on the Bella website.

This wine pours up bubbly and with a very slight copper-tinted hue. The nose offers a wealth of cherry, apricot and lemon aromas, but in a savory framework of salinity. There is a yeasty touch as well. On the palate, the fruit leads the way, but an amazing acidity really steals the show. This wine is as fresh and lively as they come. Pair it with just about anything - that's the real beauty of a sparkling wine, its versatility. 


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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Kosher Wine With A Fruity Twist

The Buzz line is produced by the Israeli winery Carmel, which was founded in 1882 by none other than Château Lafite's Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Buzz wines are flavored Moscatos, easy-to-drink sweeties which are targeted to GenZ drinkers. They come in peach, mango and pineapple and have a nice fizz to them. 

The Carmel Buzz Mango Moscato Sweet Bubbly Wine 2021 has low alcohol - just 5.5% abv - and a retail sticker of $11. The grapes were grown in the Judean Hills region of Israel and the wine is kosher for Passover.

The wine pours up with a golden tint, a nice bit of foamy bubbles and a nose that practically rides a rocket out of the glass. Despite the advertised mango, it's peach I smell most. Hints of nectarine and pear are also on hand. On the palate, again, it's peach that comes through strongest, but there is some mango in there. It's sweet, whatever it is. The mouthfeel has some viscosity to it and the finish is medium long. Aside from not being too terribly complex, this wine offers nothing to complain about. 


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Monday, September 19, 2022

Russian River Bubbles, In Pink

The folks at Sonoma-Cutrer are celebrating 40 years of passion, imagination and pride in 2022.  They say their approach to winemaking "marries Burgundian traditions and California ingenuity." Their trophy case is brimming with awards their wines have won through the decades.

The winery says that the 2019 vintage featured rain, rain and more rain, plus a summer free of radical temperature extremes.  The harvest started a week later than usual and proceeded methodically - just the way a winemaker wants it. 

The grapes are 70% Owsley Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from the Vine Hill vineyard, both prime locations in the Russian River Valley. This pink sparkler was crafted by Sonoma-Cutrer's Pinot Noir Winemaker, Zidanelia Arcidiacono. The wine rested on the spent yeast cells for two and a half years before disgorging. Alcohol sits at 12% abv and it retails for $55.

This pink rosé has a light onionskin hue and a decent froth of bubbles which form on the pour. The nose has strawberry and cherry aromas mixed in with a toasty scent. The palate is busy with red fruit and minerality, while the acidity is razor sharp. It is the sort of sparkling wine which is thought to be a "special occasion" wine, but don't wait. Opening this bottle is the special occasion. 


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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Great Bubbles From Mendocino County

Scharffenberger explains that they have been "pioneering super premium Mendocino California sparkling wine since 1981, with grapes sourced from Scharffenberger's own 120 acres of vineyards, as well as select vineyards belonging to trusted growers in Mendocino County." The estate is located in the Anderson Valley, where it was founded four decades ago.

The grapes in question are 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir. The wine spent two years aging on the spent yeast cells, then another six months in the bottle. The alcohol sits at 12.5% abv and the wine sells for around $29.

This wine pours up with a nice, white froth on top of the salmon pink juice. The nose comes forth with a healthy whiff of cherries. On the palate, the red berries come up alongside the nice yeasty bread flavor. It's a fizzy drink with a great acidity and a lovely finish. 


Monday, September 12, 2022

Mosketto By Bronco

There is a big market these days for sweet wines.  Sweet in the sense that they are not dry, but not exactly dessert style.  Mosketto Frizzante Bianco - from Bronco Wines - should appeal to those looking for a low-alcohol beverage in the White Claw vein.  I was not bowled over by its complexity, but for sweet, fizzy fun, it fits perfectly.  The Moscato grapes came from Italy's Piedmont region and the wine hits only 5% abv for alcohol content - really partially fermented grape juice - while selling for $12.  Don't pair it with dessert, by the way - it goes better with salty snacks.

This one is all Moscato.  The wine is actually a partially fermented grape juice.  Sweet on the nose, sweet on the palate - with a bit of fizz thrown in to make it feel more like a party.  This is a wine for gulping by the pool, not a wine for ruminating upon.  


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Forever Blowing Bubbles

People sometimes don't give wine importers enough credit for what they do. The best importers are those with a nose for wine, who can sniff out good stuff through endless trials, then bring the product to us. Great importers like Kermit Lynch and Terry Theise are as important and as recognizable as great producers.  

Mack and Schühle are Miami-based importers who find great wine and pass it along at a fair price. Founded in 1939, the company expanded to the Miami office about a decade ago. They produce wine in Italy and Spain and distribute other wines globally.

Art of Earth is a global vintner which makes wine from organic vineyards the world over. Their line includes bottling from Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Argentina. 

The Art of Earth Organic Prosecco Frizzante hails from Veneto, in Italy's DOC Prosecco region. The grapes used here are 85% Glera and 15% other varieties. It is a gluten-free wine, non-GMO and organic. Alcohol sits low at 11% abv and the retail price is around $15.

This fizzy wine has festive bubbles which should be enjoyed before they dissipate. The nose shows apples, pears and a hint of citrus minerality. The palate brings a zippy acidity along with the salinity-laden fruit flavors. The feel is more savory than fruity, and that lasts into the medium finish. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

What Bubbles The Future Holds

This California sparkling wine is named after a card from the tarot deck, the one symbolizing harmony, joy and contentment - perfect for a nice bottle of bubbly. Banshee Wines makes an assortment of wines in Healdsburg, where they can be nearer to the Sonoma County vineyards where they source the fruit.

This non-vintage brut was made in the Méthode Champenoise, with secondary fermentation happening in the bottle. It was aged on the yeast for two years or more.  The grapes involved are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, with alcohol sitting at 12.5% abv and a retail price of $30. 

This wine presents a thick, white froth upon pouring - and the fine bubbles stick around awhile. On the nose, green apples, pears and white flowers abound, with a healthy dose of minerals along for the sniffing. The palate also shows off a ton of the aforementioned fruit and some citrus minerality as well. The wonderful acidity will make this a sparkler that can do more than host a toast. You may want oysters or lobster with it. 


Monday, July 11, 2022

Offbeat Champagne

The Monthuys Pére et Fils Rèserve Brut Champagne is an unusual blend of Champagne varieties - 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Meunier grapes - gives this sparkler a special nose and palate. Maybe this Marne Valley product isn't for everyone. My wife's judgment: "I hate it." Me, I like wine that is a bit offbeat, so it's right in my wheelhouse.

The Baron family owns the estate, relative newcomers in the Champagne biz. They've been at it for only a couple of decades, according to the website translator. Alcohol rests at 12.5% abv and the wine retails for less than $30.

This wine's golden hue owes something, no doubt, to the three years of bottle aging it underwent. Its nose is rather brash, probably owing to the Meunier-heavy blend. Apricot aromas dominate, with apple and toast following. Apple comes across strongest on the palate, with an earthy sensibility layered over it. The finish returns the apricot flavor. 


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Bubbles, Italian Style

Valdo Winery is located in Italy's Valdobbiadene region, in Veneto, founded in 1926. The winery has long been a leader in Prosecco production, and now they catch consumers' eyes with special edition packaging which is backed up by the quality sparkling rosé inside the fancy bottle. 

The bottle art for the Valdo Floral Rosé Brut: Special Jungle Edition was commissioned from Italian designer Fabrizio Sclavi. This is the fourth special edition by Valdo, devoted to the world of flowers and the wild. The bottle is redesigned each year with an original illustration and a different theme. 

Inside the bottle: a blend of two native Italian grape varieties, Glera and Nerello Mascalese. The former is the white variety used in the production of Prosecco, while the latter is a red variety which thrives in the warm seashore climate of Sicily. The skillful blending of the two varieties creates a rosé with an intense fruity and floral bouquet, low alcohol, and exuberant bubbles. Alcohol sits at 11.5% abv and the wine retails for $19.

This lovely pink sparkler carries a nose of ripe strawberries and flowers, while the palate has loads of fresh acidity and flavors of red fruit. The bubbles are numerous, but enjoy them before they disappear. This is a festive bubbly, suitable for any occasion that calls for some fun. 


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Prosecco, Extra Dry

Riondo Winery was founded fairly recently, by Italian standards, in 2008.  Under the arm of Collis Veneto Wine Group, the winery uses grapes from a collective which is some two-thousand strong.  The Prosecco production area is in the northeastern part of the country, with vineyards mainly in the Berici Hills and Padua areas of the hills of Veneto.  Glera is the main grape variety used in the making of Prosecco.

This sparkling wine carries alcohol at 11% abv and it sells in many places for less than $10, making it one of the more affordable Proseccos.  It is imported by Illinois-based Terlato Wines.

The Riondo Prosecco provides a nice bit of white froth at the top of the glass, along with beautiful aromas of fruit and flowers.  The palate is, as promised, bone dry and features minerals, lemons and limes in the flavor profile.  It has a wonderful level of acidity so it is completely fresh and refreshing.  I had mine with a grilled cheese, swiss.  Delicious. 


Monday, January 24, 2022

Bubbles From Italy - Valdo Prosecco

Bubbles are often leaned on for special occasions, to make them more special - remember New Year's Eve?  You shouldn't need any help making Valentine's Day more special, but if you do, try something bubbly.  Let’s say you've already broken the bank on a gift for your sweetheart, and you need bubbles that are a little more reasonably priced than Champagne, but still festive and fun.  Meet Prosecco, Italy's favorite sparkling wine.

Valdo was founded in 1926, in Italy's Veneto region, the town of Valdobbiadene, then bought by the Bolla family in 1938.  Winemaker Gianfranco Zanon makes some really nice Prosecco there.

Valdo Marca Oro Brut Prosecco DOC  

This wine was made from 100% Glera grapes, grown in the Prosecco DOC in Veneto, in the northeastern part of Italy.  Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and the wine got three months of Charmat aging, one month in the bottle.  Alcohol is at the typical 11% abv and the retail price is $15.

The fine bubbles sit on the straw-yellow wine and dissipate rather quickly.  The nose gives aromas of apples, candied apricots and peaches.  The palate offers delicious citrus, apple and mineral flavors, with a hint of custard on the finish.  Delightful. 


Valdo Marca Oro Prosecco DOC Rosé

A mix of 90% Glera and 10% Pinot Noir grapes, this Prosecco Rosé has a lovely pink hue and persistent perlage, those tiny bubbles.  Alcohol is no higher than 11% abv, while the retail price is $15.

This pink bubbly shows nice, fine bubbles and offers a beautiful nose of cherry, strawberry, pear, apple and a hint of citrus.  The palate carries those same fruit flavors, with a bit more lemon than on the nose.  The acidity is perfectly juxtaposed against the wine's sweetness.  Have it with anything, but it will pair best with Mediterranean dishes. 


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Windsor Vineyards Gets Personal With Their Wine

Many wineries find it resourceful to create an additional revenue stream by making personalized labels for the wine they sell.  Sonoma County's Windsor Vineyards does this, and they sent me a bottle of bubbly to show me what it looks like.

The wine is Windsor's Platinum Series Brut Rosé North Coast sparkling wine.  It is made through the Méthode Champenoise of secondary fermentation in the bottle, just like in Champagne.  This one has the name of my wine website plastered on the front of the bottle.

For Windsor, it would seem to be more about the private labeling than it is about the wine.  However, Windsor - founded by wine legend Rodney Strong in 1959 - has been winning awards for their wines for decades.  They are now owned by Vintage Wine Estates.

The personalized labels actually started way back in the day, with Strong.  He started putting personalized labels on the wine - Mr. and Mrs., Happy Birthday, the law firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe - and the tradition continues today.

The Windsor Platinum Series Brut Rosé North Coast sparkler was aged in the bottle, on the spent yeast cells, for 19 months.  The non-vintage wine has a full mouthfeel, while presenting a vibrant freshness.  Alcohol is 12.5% abv and the wine retails for $32 with the Windsor label on the bottle.  It costs extra for a personalized label.  They start at $12 with a minimum order of two bottles.

This Sonoma County bubbly is a beautiful copper-salmon color in the glass with a nose of sweet red fruit and toast.  The palate is as dry as a bone and loaded with a racy acidity.  Strawberries, cherries, lemons, tangerines and a truckload of minerals fill out the flavor profile.  Lemon chimes in on the finish.


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Monday, September 20, 2021

Kosher Bubbles From The Russian River Valley

The Jewish High Holy Days are happening this month, which means you'll need some kosher wines.  You can always turn to Royal Wine Corporation for reliably high-quality kosher wines.  Royal is owned by the Herzog family, whose wine history dates back to the middle of the 19th century.  Royal imports and distributes kosher wines from all over the world, and they make their own at the Herzog winery in Southern California.

Herzog Special Reserve Russian River Valley Sparkling Wine

This sparkling Chardonnay is made from grapes grown in the cool-climate Russian River Valley.  The bubbles were produced through the Methode Champenoise, and the wine is kosher.  Alcohol sits at 13.5% abv and I saw it selling online for more than $50.

This pale yellow wine produces a nice, white froth when poured.  The nose has yeasty notes of citrus and stone fruit, with an earthy element that is fabulous.  The toast and earth aspects are also present on the palate.  It's a dry wine, but there is a sweetness about it that has everything to do with the fruit.  This is one California sparkling wine I could easily recommend.


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Monday, August 2, 2021

Three Prosecco Rosé Wines

The Italian sparkling wine known as Prosecco dates back to the 14th century, as made in the town of Prosecco in the district of Trieste.  The Prosecco DOC was not established until 2009.  Rosé was not permitted until 2020.

I had the pleasure of attending a virtual event during National Prosecco Week, hosted by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, also known as the World Wine Guys.  While presenting an overview of Prosecco's history, the pair identified what it is that attracts so many people to the bubbly wine: "Prosecco is fun."

There was much more to the event, but that's the takeaway, in a nutshell.  They also mentioned that real Prosecco is identified by the blue seal on the neck of the bottle, and urged consumers to accept no substitutes.

Those of us tasting along with the World Wine Guys sampled six outstanding Proseccos, three brut styles and three rosés.  First, the pink.

The Mionetto Prosecco DOC Rosé Millesimato is produced under the umbrella of Freixenet.  This one was made using grapes from the 2020 vintage, 90% Glera and 10% Pinot Nero fruit.  Those grapes were soft-pressed and left on the skins for just a few days.  The bubbles come from the Charmat method of secondary fermentation, in a pressurized tank.  Alcohol is quite light, at just 11% abv.

This Prosecco is a rich salmon pink in the glass, tending toward orange.  The nose is full of bright red fruit - cherries, dried apricots and lemons.  The froth dissipates rather quickly, and the palate is as cheerful as Prosecco is expected to be.  Berries, citrus and a touch of honey make merry on the taste buds in this bone-dry bubbly.  The citrus lasts longest on the finish.  

The Torresella Prosecco DOC Rosé is another extra dry pink Prosecco under an umbrella, this time that of Santa Margherita.  The Torresella Winery website offers that the winery is located "Italy's eastern Veneto region, an area of gentle hills and broad plains along the Adriatic Sea, about midway between Venice and Trieste."

This wine is made entirely from Glera grapes which were grown in Treviso and Venezia.  The wine was made sparkling through the Charmat method, which has the secondary fermentation take place in a tank, under pressure.  Alcohol sits at 11.5% abv.

This light pink sparkling wine has a nice froth in the glass, which dissipates quickly.  Aromas of strawberry, cherry and a touch of toast lie on the nose, while the palate brings some citrus and stone fruit to the party.  The finish is medium length and carries with it a bit of earthiness.

The Masottina Conegliano Prosecco DOC Rosé Brut is produced by the third generation of the Dal Bianco family.  The wine is 100% Glera grapes, grown in the hills of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.  Winemaker Adriano Dal Bianco carries his family's tradition well.  The wine has alcohol at 11.5% abv and it retails for $24.

This pink Prosecco smells like red ripe cherries, with more of the same on the palate.  Flavors of citrus join in, lime and grapefruit mainly.  The bubbles are generous, but fade quickly.  They are fun while they last, though.  


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Two "Cru" Proseccos From Valdobbiadene

Virtual wine tasting events are no stranger to me, especially in the era of COVID-19.  Get the box, open the box, log on and taste from home.  No social distancing to strain the process, no mask needed.  I was invited to take part in a Zoom gathering recently along with two dozen other wine writers.  

Most of the wines in the virtual events have achieved the Tre Bicchieri - three glasses - status of Gambero Rosso International, the wine guide’s highest accolade.  The interactive event was hosted by Lorenzo Ruggeri, the wine guide's international editor, with comments along the two-hour journey from each winery’s representative.  Ruggeri spoke from Rome at sunset, which was mid-morning in Los Angeles.

Biancavigna Conegliano Valdobbiadene Rive di Soligo Extra Brut 2019

The Rive di Soligo estate vineyard sits at an elevation of more than 1200 feet, in the hills of Conegliano, Valdobbiaddene, in San Gallo near Soligo.  Indigenous Selections says the "rive" refers to the steepness of the land, some at a 70% slope.  They call it, unofficially, a Cru Prosecco, with the Glera grapes grown on 25-year-old vines planted in the rocky, clay soil.  

BiancaVigna is owned by Elena Moschetta, with winemaking duties handled by her brother Enrico Moschetta.  Elena, who spoke in the virtual event, hadn't intended to make a career of wine, but she eventually answered the door when her destiny knocked on it.  Alcohol for the wine comes in at an easy 11.5% abv, with an average retail price of $14.

The wine has a pale yellow color and smells of apples and citrus.  The bubbles are frothy and reconstitute nicely with a swirl of the glass.  The palate brings a healthy dose of lemon and lime, with green apples also appearing in the mix.  The acidity is wonderful, adding to the pleasure of the sip and allowing for a variety of pairing options.


Borgoluce Valdobbiadene Rive di Collalto Extra Brut
2019

The Borgoluce winery was founded in 938.  Today's Proprietors are quite distant from the era of three-digit years.  They are a mother and her daughters - Trinidad, Giuliana, Ninni & Caterina Collalto.  Winemaker Elisa Confortin rounds out the female team to create this 2019 Rive di Collalto Extra Brut Prosecco Superiore, made from Glera grapes grown on the steepest slopes of the Collalto family's 160 acres of vineyards.  The wine was made sparkling through the Charmat method.  Ninni Collalto Facchinetti spoke during the event and represented her winery in a most excellent way.

2019 is the first vintage of Rive "Extra Brut;" which kicks in at an alcohol level of 11.5% abv.  The winery says their vineyard's soils are clay with a high concentration of calcium carbonate, on the steepest part of hill, at the southern edge of Valdobbiadene near the Piave river.  The wine was aged on the lees - the spent yeast cells - for five months.  The retail price is about $24.

The Borgoluce people say this Prosecco takes time in the glass to give up its full expression, but I like the citrusy, yeasty nose right away.  Lemon and minerals dominate the nose, while the acidity provides a ton of refreshment.  It paired well with a vegetable korma as well as an avocado and pepper sandwich.



Monday, March 22, 2021

This Prosecco Brings More To Table Than Fun

Virtual wine tasting events are no stranger to me, especially in the era of COVID-19.  Get the box, open the box, log on and taste from home.  No social distancing to strain the process, no mask needed.  I am invited to take part in another online gathering of wine writers.  The series of events are staged by Gambero Rosso International.  All the wines to be tasted have achieved the Tre Bicchieri - three glasses - status, the wine guide's highest accolade.

Here is a sneak peek of today's first wine - the 2019 Bortolomiol Valdobbiadene Brut Ius Naturae Prosecco Superiore DOCG.

The Ius Naturae Prosecco Superiore features Glera grapes grown organically in the heart of Valdobbiadene, in the Parco della Filandetta area of northern Italy.  It is a Millesimato wine, meaning that the grapes all came from the same vintage.  The wine is made in the Martinotti-Charmat method for sparkling wine, in which the secondary fermentation occurs in tanks.  The alcohol content sits at 11.5% abv and the wine sells for around $14.

This bubbly is fun, as Prosecco is supposed to be.  It carries a pale golden color in the glass and gives up a nose that reminds me of lemon drops.  After a bit, green apples and apricots poke through the citrus extravaganza.  The bubbles are nice, but they don't last long.  On the palate, that promise of green apple shines through, and the acidity is as sharp as a tack.  Pair it with anything.  I chose pecan sugar cookies, butter crackers and hummus, and it worked every time.


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